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News around Africa - Profiles - January 10, 2020

Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia Stalemated Over Nile Dam

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have discussions have been stalemated.

After a two-day discussion over the giant hydropower dam on the Nile through Cairo, all parties involved are still undecided.

“We did not reach an agreement today but we achieved clarity at least on all issues including the filling. We hope to reach a deal next week in Washington,” Egyptian Water Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty told Reuters late on Thursday after two days of meetings in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The talks which are expected to be resolved by January 15 in line with a deadline agreed with Washington, will reconvene on Jan. 13 in Washington with the aim of resolving their disagreements.

They agreed to the timeline after a meeting in Washington with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and World Bank President David Malpass in November.

After the meetings in the Ethiopian capital ended with no progress, Ethiopian Water Minister Sileshi Bekele accused Egypt of coming to the talks with no intention of reaching a deal.

“We didn’t agree on the filling of the dam as Egypt presented a new proposal requesting the filling to be carried out in 12-21 years. This is not acceptable. We will start the filling of the dam by July,” Sileshi told a news conference.

The $4 billion hydroelectric dam being built in Ethiopia had sparked a diplomatic crisis between Egypt and Ethiopia, who both see existential threats in each other’s positions on the project.

Cairo fears the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will restrict supplies of already scarce Nile waters on which its population of more than 100 million people is almost entirely dependent.

Addis Ababa denies the dam will undermine Egypt’s access to water and says the project is crucial to its economic development, as it aims to become Africa’s biggest power exporter with a projected capacity of more than 6000 megawatts.

Related: Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, to Meet in Jan 13 Over Dam Disput





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